All life on Earth depends upon energy from the sun. Plants convert the sun's energy into matter. Other living things use the energy stored in plant matter to fuel and sustain their bodies. Life is a perpetual sharing of energy, an endless cycle of energy conversion... sunlight into matter and matter into energy. Even the sun itself is simply converting matter into energy. We are all parts of the same energy miracle, and the sum of us all is one.
Our time on Earth is the most valuable asset that we have. Once it passes, none of our other possessions will matter at all. If you learned that you were terminally ill and about to die, how valuable would another year of normal, healthy living be to you? More valuable than all of your other possessions combined? Would you then understand that the value of your time on Earth is truly priceless?
So if we are all part of the same energy, and the true value of our time is priceless, can we be anything other than equal? Of course we are not equal in size, or strength, or intelligence, and our abilities and interests differ. But that is not the point. We don't have to be the same to be equal.
Equality means that we all have a natural, equal right to participate in life fully and freely without exploitation or coercion. True equality can only arise from an unlimited respect for life itself... from an unlimited awe of the sanctity of all living energy. Only from that unified, common source can we see where we each fit in. Unfortunately our current culture has almost totally obliterated this point of view. It totally ignores the unity and connectedness of all living energy and violently disrespects the sanctity of life.
Our current economic system rewards selfish, anti-social behaviour and creates a hostile environment that brings out the worst in people (greed, dishonesty, vanity, etc.). People then interpret these behavioural symptoms as being an indication of our true "human nature". But if you put the same people into a healthy, co-operative economic environment, an entirely new set of social behaviours will emerge (like humility, honesty and respect). Our only true human nature is adaptability. Our behavioural capacity ranges from the very best to the worst imaginable. It's entirely up to the environmental relationships that we are a part of.
It is ironic that the true source of all real wealth on this planet comes from things that mankind has had absolutely no control over. Natural resources are a gift from nature to all living species, both here today and yet to come. Mankind had no hand at all in their creation. Likewise, before our birth, we were not given a choice of the talents and abilities we would have here on Earth. Nature again provided us with the internal gifts that we inherited. Everything of value made by man was created by combining these natural gifts together. Human and natural resources are the only two ingredients of every human creation. So how can we justify anything other than an equal human right to enjoy the gifts that nature provided freely for us all?
If we could just learn to settle for true equality, then all full-time workers would be able to earn over $100,000 a year. (click on the Income tab above for details) Although the richest 5% may not like this idea, 95% of humanity should be able to see that true equality would be in their own best interest. So why is there so much resistance to the idea of true equality? What do people fear about equality?
Equality does not require that we give up our individuality. Equality does not imply that we must become "the same". In fact, the opposite is true. Equal rights insist that, despite our individual differences, we all maintain a natural right to live freely, without coercion or exploitation.
Equality does not limit our abilities or prevent us from being better than others in certain capacities. Again, the opposite is true. Equality gives us the freedom to explore and develop our own unique set of abilities without the threat of financial insecurity. People are totally free to develop their natural superiorities. They just can't use them to lessen the equal rights of others.
Equality would not make us all lazy. This is a false prophecy perpetuated to scare and mislead the public. Think about the facts for a moment. If income alone motivates people to work, why are so many people working at difficult or stressful jobs for the minimum wage? When the marginal cost of doing nothing is so low, why aren't workers flocking to the welfare roles? There must be another motivation for working a minimum wage job other than just a slight increase in income. Does it really make sense that paying people more money for what they already do now will motivate them to quit working? Do you feel like quitting your job every time you get a raise?
Equality will not destroy the incentive and motivation of our most talented people. The brilliant and artistically gifted are driven by their desire to express themselves. The depth and meaning of their lives comes from the pursuit of this expression. The true artist or genius has no choice. It is simply who they are. If they try to ignore their gifts, they will destroy themselves. They must release the creative urges that drive them, whether they are paid for it or not. Albert Einstein would not have chosen to work in a coffee shop even if a coffee shop worker earned the same as a physicist. John Lennon would not have worked at Walmart even if they paid him as much as he earned on the road.
Our intuitive and innate desire for equality has a long history of denial. The Declaration of Independence introduced the principle in 1776 with the famous words "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Unfortunately however, these unalienable rights from our Creator never made it into the economic fabric of society. If we are ever to learn to cooperate peacefully and survive as a species, we had better incorporate them soon.
The Financial Party suggests that society has the potential to be led by higher values than money alone. Most people are reasonably content once their income level enables them to live comfortably and avoid the risk of poverty. Finding work that is interesting, socially meaningful and personally challenging becomes much more important to them than merely earning more money. A deeper purpose and meaning of life will penetrate our culture. Self-development will become our primary inspiration, not for monetary gain, but for the natural joy and inner satisfaction that personal growth generates. Fortunately there will always be many people who are happy to work less demanding occupations, so long as they are compensated fairly for their time.
Let free competition on a level economic playing field look after who does what. Those who have been blessed with superior natural gifts will be rewarded with exceptional opportunities to develop and use their talents. Social status will be earned through public service. Dangerous or unpleasant jobs will be rewarded with greater social respect and more paid time-off. Create a society where equal is the highest value possible. Teach our children that superiority without humility is wrong. Give people the economic freedom to vote with their lives for the kind of society they want. One life, one vote... now that's true democracy.